Research by Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has found that the construction process of building contemporary dwellings in Australia is a substantiative factor in contributing to the delays of housing completion.
The research, based on extensive literature review, house production modelling and interviews, found over the period 1993-2010 there was a marginal decline in quarterly completion of houses from approximately 27,000 to 25,000 dwellings. During the same period, the average completion time increased from approximately six to ten months. Whilst part of this may be attributed to the fact that Australian houses are getting larger in size, other factors were thought to be at play.
The research uncovered something clearly evident to any one that has been through a major renovation or new house construction experience. The housing production sector in Australia is highly specialised. In recent years there has been greater scope for customisation leading in turn to greater degrees of product options. This has led to an increase in the number of sub-contracts per dwelling, which in turn has contributed to increasing the overall complexity of the process and potential for delay. This, together with the requirements for quality control, has seen a blow out of construction times.
Solutions proposed to address the construction issues focussed on new training and quality management systems, and reviewing how housing programs can incentivise new product, process and organisational innovation leading to real reductions in completion times.
Further information on this research can be found here.